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Mind Over Mass

"You are getting sleepy . . . I mean 'skinny.' "
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This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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While the dieting industry continues trying to revamp and repackage low-carb, low-fat, pill and liquid diets that are guaranteed to slim down your checking account balance before they do anything to your waistline, Bob Harris continues to build a thriving business helping people shed their excess weight through hypnosis.

"The majority of dieting programs focus on weight," says Harris, 51, who owns a Positive Changes Hypnosis Centers franchise in Fountain Valley, California. "We don't even weigh [our customers]. We don't want them focusing on the scale. They know if they're losing weight or not. We want them focusing on their bodies."

Once a public speaker and corporate trainer who traveled 45 weeks out of the year, Harris ultimately resolved to abandon his residence on American Airlines for a more traditional home and the opportunity to get involved with Positive Changes Hypnosis. In addition to weight loss, the hypnosis franchise offers individually tailored programs designed to help people relinquish cigarettes, improve sales averages and sharpen communication skills.

Harris projects his Positive Changes Hypnosis franchise will generate between $750,000 and $1 million of gross revenue in 2002. Impressive. But perhaps more impressive are the spellbinding allusions he makes connecting Positive Changes with a certain acronym that starts with I and ends with O: "This company is going to go public," he says. "Nobody has ever taken hypnosis as an industry this mainstream."

Edition: May 2017

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